The Energy and Mineral Development Ministry has suspended the use of excavators in Pozzolana mines in Harugongo and Kichwamba Sub Counties in Kabarole district.
Isa Lugayizi, a Geologist from the Ministry issued the directive while meeting more than 500 Pozzolana miners at Harugongo Primary School playground.
He accused Royal Transit Company using the excavators illegally. Lugayizi explained that Royal Transit Company obtained location license to explore the mineral in accordance with Section 54 sub section (2) of the Uganda Mining Act 2003, which doesn’t involve substantial expenditures.
He says the suspension followed complaints from artisan miners that the use of excavators had rendered them jobless yet mining Pozzolana has been their source of live hood for over two decades.
Richard Rwabuhinga, the Kabarole district LC V chairperson, said in 2003, Twerwaneho Listeners Club – a non-governmental organization that fights for the rights of people in Kabarole – wrote a report to Hima Cement complaining about child labour, which forced the company to resort to machines.
Caroline Kezabu, who represented the management of Hima Cement factory at the meeting said they are not ready to employ causal laborers because they are inefficient.